Stubborn Knob

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by JST, Oct 7, 2019.

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  1. JST

    JST Registered User
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    I recently purchased this GE/Telechron “Refrigerator” clock, given away by GE to buyers of its early 1930's "Monitor Top" electric refrigerators. This clock has the original cord, which is nice, and it works very well. No noise from the motor. The case has been repainted, which is typical for these clocks. I’m not sure it the dial is new and if the seconds hand is missing or wasn’t on this model. As you can see from the first picture, the hour hand is slightly off. I’m attempting to take the back off and make the adjustment, but the knob that set the time (2nd & 3rd pictures) is refusing to come off. It doesn’t screw off counterclockwise, so I assume it’s a friction fit. I’d like to confirm that assumption and ask for advice on removing it.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    JST

    IMG_7825.JPG IMG_7821.JPG IMG_7822.JPG
     
  2. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I have never worked on one of these, but the mark line on the knob makes me think that it must be put on the arbor in a specific position. If this is so, it is probably pushed on. I would try to put 2 paint can openers from opposite sides under the knob and cautiously try to pry it off. Put something like a piece of thin carboard under the can openers to protect the back. If it doesn't come off easily, wait for other responses before you continue.

    Uhralt
     
  3. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    While you are waiting for someone with first hand knowledge, I would suggest some penetrating oil soak. Without knowing what's on the other end I would caution against prying. Be patient, someone will come along who has opened one of these.

    RC
     
  4. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    JST
    While this clock is not in my hand and I have never worked on one that I recall, the center shaft of the knob in the third photo appears to have threads. I would suggest checking closely with optics. If so, hold the shaft with a needle nose and try and screw the knob off in both directions.

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  5. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I think it's a good idea to look closely under magnification if there are threads. Let us know what you find.

    Uhralt
     
  6. David S

    David S Registered User
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    I think I would try a small puller that has a pin that will fit through the hole in the knob. Gently and see what happens.

    David
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Here's a blowup from picture I found. On this one the shaft seems to extend through the knob. Not clear enough to tell for sure but I can almost imagine that I see threads. If the knob were just pressed on I would expect to see flats on the shaft which are not present here. If it is threaded, attempting to pull it off could damage the threads. Lacking firsthand knowledge, I would use penetrating oil, let sit 24 hours and do as Jerry suggested in post #4.

    RC

    knob.jpg
     
  8. David S

    David S Registered User
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    JST on this clock does the time set knob rotate both ways? I.e. can you turn the hands back wards as well as forwards. When I have worked on similar clocks if the set knob will not rotate in one direction then it has unscrewed. if it rotates both ways then it pulled off.

    David
     
  9. JST

    JST Registered User
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    Thanks everybody for your replies. I did apply a small amount of penetrating oil last night. I’m not home this evening, but hopefully I can get to it tomorrow. I will take a closer look to see if I can find threads. David, yes the knob moves both ways. In other words, I can use it to turn the hands in either direction.

    I’ll let you know what I find out.

    JST
     
  10. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    WE HAD A FRIDGE JUST LIKE THAT when I was a little kid!
     
  11. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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  12. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    After the penetrating oil has been there a day or two, time to bust out the ole soldering gun for a little heat.

    Don't get carried away with applying more force. Keep the oil, heat, oil, heat cycle going for a few days before increasing the force.

    Don't play the 'excessive force' card too quickly. At least until you know which way it turns. I've never seen one of these either.

    WIllie X
     
  13. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Also take a close look to see if there might be a pin or setscrew somewhere on the knob.
     
  14. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    On a Telechron I would expect it to be a left-hand thread or opposite of the direction one would use to advance the time, but never worked on one of these. I would like to own one, along with one of the real thing. I believe there are people who restore these old fridges as well.

    RC
     
  15. JST

    JST Registered User
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    Good news. After a few drops of penetrating oil soaking in for a couple of days, I was able to get the knob off. It was threaded. I got a pair of pliers under the knob to tightly hold the stem and it unscrewed counterclockwise.

    Thanks again to everybody for their help. Now we know these knobs are threaded on, NOT a friction fit.

    JST
     
  16. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Glad you got it off without damage.

    David
     
  17. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Glad you got the knob off. When you get the case open would you please post some pictures of the insides. As this thread is testament many of us have admired these little clocks but never seen inside.

    RC
     
  18. JST

    JST Registered User
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    Glad to do that. It will be either later tonight or tomorrow.

    JST
     
  19. JST

    JST Registered User
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    Thanks again to everybody for help with this Telechron clock. Attached are some pictures with the back off and the movement out of the case. It’s very clear now that the case has been painted and the dial is new. The hour hand is being difficult about moving, so back to a tiny bit of penetrating oil and waiting a couple of days. Besides adjusting the hour hand and cleaning out the inside of the case, I plan to just put it back together and let it keep accurate time for years to come.

    Thanks,

    JST

    IMG_7830.JPG IMG_7833.JPG IMG_7834.JPG IMG_7837.JPG
     
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  20. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Thanks for posting pictures.

    RC
     
  21. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Why do you think that the dial is new? I know, it looks too perfect but where would you get a new dial for this clock that is not very common?

    Uhralt
     
  22. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    it’s very clean, dial is probably original.... where would someone get a replacement, and it’s not quite pristine enough to have been repainted... just an opinion.
     

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